Spent some time taking stock of the last month of training, to see how it went and what nuggets ‘o wisdom can be extracted from the results:
* Did very well sticking to the plan, even with a 1.5 week vacation thrown into the mix. 151 miles planned, 161.87 miles run. Running while on vacation was definitely challenging, but I feel much better for having done it and stuck to my training schedule. Running by the Charles River in Boston was mucho cool.
* Did a lousy job getting a proper amount of sleep to support the training demands. Almost all my workouts (running, lifting, swimming) are done in the early AM to make sure they get done and don’t interfere with work, kids, etc. This usually means getting up around 5AM every day, including weekends when doing long runs. I HAVE to start going to bed earlier to make this work. More than once during the month I was in full zombie mode from sleep deprivation. As someone that doesn’t drink coffee, this can get ugly for those unfortunate enough to have to interact with me. Must get better about this. Fortunately I haven’t developed a taste for brains. Yet.
* REALLY enjoyed keeping up with the fellow ‘Distance Dreamers’ and their various challenges and accomplishments. Abbi is a rock star for the collective summaries she puts together, which include links to the blogs. Having tried to maintain links to the songs in the Throwback Training Tunes posts I’ve been doing, I know what a MONSTER time commitment it must be to keep up with the blogs, and keep the links straight. Nice to be a part of this virtual group as we all march towards our associated finish-lines.
* Started doing the Hard CORE Club workouts since I’ve done a poor job of ensuring I work my core as part of my weight training. Making these CORE workouts their own separate effort has thus far been a success in terms of making me get them done. Thanks to Jamoosh for putting the club together, and putting the workout together including demo photos. Should only be a matter of weeks before I finish a long run, grab a box of detergent, wade into the river and scrub my clothes clean on my washboard abs. It’s all about workout efficiency.
* Still digging on tempo runs, and speed work in general. Haven’t tried the local tracks again to see if they are less heavily fortified now that the kids are back in school. I’d really like to get some track work done. Maybe some Yassos. I know my natural pace on my long runs has sped up as a result of the speed work. In related news, Usain Bolt has shut down his running for the year, not long after I called him out in my blog. Coincidence? I think not.
* Perhaps I don’t enjoy running in the heat as much as earlier advertised. My prior love affair with hot-weather running was mostly built around 4-5 mile runs. Whole different ballgame when you’re doing double-digit runs in triple-digit heat indices with quadruple-digit humidity. Yes … you read that right. NC weather is hardcore like that. Hydration is a puzzle that I’m still trying to solve. Thankfully the weather has been considerably cooler in the mornings lately, so hopefully the worst of it is behind us.
* Finally, I’m wondering how long one could survive on a diet consisting entirely of chocolate covered pretzels. In the interest of science I may be willing to take on this challenge. Were it not for the fact that pretty much every aspect of them are somehow processed, I’d call them nature’s perfect food. Sometimes even nature misses the boat. Rather than a chocolate covered pretzel bush, we get poison ivy. Weak.